As the ethnic clashes continue in Manipur, as many as 12,694 children are living in relief camps across the northeastern state of which 100 are severely traumatized and need professional help, reports emerged on Monday.
This was said in a government release, quoting the data made available by Manipur social welfare department.
According to the release, the welfare department is actively monitoring severely malnourished children who are being sent to JNIMS hospital in the state capital adding that so far 16 children have been treated for severely malnourished cases.
For the children needing professional counsellors, the department’s team of qualified medical practitioners and child psychiatrists are working as volunteers providing counseling to them.
The director of the Social Welfare department, Ng Uttam Singh said, “Whenever they find such severely traumatized children, they will be identified, and taken to professional counsellors. We have done this for a little more than 100 children. We hope that this number does not increase and these traumatized children can go back to normal very soon.”
“A child may not be traumatized immediately. But that trauma can come up after one week or a month,” he added.
The release further that counsellors are deployed in every district through district children protection offices to address the mental health of the displaced children by visiting children’s homes in relief camps to identify and give counselling who are in need for professional help.
Meanwhile, child psychiatrist Dr Jina Heigrujam, who visited several relief camps, said that professional counselling is essential to avoid a myriad of mental health issues from developing.